Friday, November 30, 2012

WGWG Letter in Support for Marriage Equality

Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill

To the Government Administration Select Committee 

Dear Select Committee Members

This submission is made on behalf of the Wellington Gay Welfare Group. The Wellington Gay Welfare Group Inc (WGWG) is an incorporated society and registered charity. WGWG promotes the welfare of all those in the Wellington region who identify with the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) communities.

We support marriage equality for all New Zealanders and we support the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill. The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill will remove a historical discrimination that has no place in modern New Zealand. Marriage is a legal institution that should be open to all New Zealanders. Our legislation should be fair, equal and should not discriminate. We urge you to progress this Bill
to ensure that all people, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity will have the opportunity to marry if they so choose.
Marriage is an important issue for those within same-sex relationships, our families and friends but it is also an important issue for all New Zealanders. A more equal society is better for everyone.

Legislation that treats same-sex attracted New Zealanders as second-class citizens, reinforces our inequality. The impact of this inequality is very often tragic. Teenagers who are same-sex attracted have attempted suicide at rates five times higher than their heterosexual peers. These attempts relate to experiences of discrimination and marginalization. If we want to do something about this appalling statistic we need to address prejudice and discrimination. Sending a message to young people that our society treats all people equally will send this message clearly.

In a recent Colmar Brunton poll, 63 per cent of New Zealanders think same-sex couples should be able to marry. Of 18 to 34 year olds, 76% think that same-sex couples should be able to get married. The public are in strong support of this Bill, and so Members of Parliament should also support it.
Allowing same sex marriage will not affect any existing heterosexual marriages. A couple's relationship, history, and marriage cannot be undermined by another couple having their strong bond also recognised.

This Bill is about fairness and choice, not how or where people choose to marry. It will not oblige churches to marry gay couples. Some argue that the state did not invent marriage and so has no authority to re-invent it. This Bill only changes the state sanctioned definition of marriage by amending the New Zealand Parliament's Marriage Act of 1955. It does not change how other people define their relationships. Many religious communities have also expressed their support for marriage equality.

The list of countries where same sex marriage is now legal is growing; New Zealanders value equality and so should join with these other countries; Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Spain, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark.


In closing, we reiterate that we urge you to progress this Bill to ensure that all people, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity will have the opportunity to marry if they so choose.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Srtike Out For AIDS

Srtike Out For AIDS

Annual World AIDS Day Fundraiser
Sunday 2nd December , 7PM till Midnight
The Lanes Bowling Lounge, 234 Wakefield Street, Wellington

Tickets $20.00 - Unlimited Bowling, Spot Prizes, Give-aways

All proceeds to World AIDS Day Collection

Tickets Available from:

- Lanes Bowling Lounge
- NZAF, Awhina Centre, Level 1, 187 Willis St. Wellington
- Scotty & Mal's Cocktail & Lounge : 176 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Red Ribbon Street Collection on November 30

Red Ribbon Street Collection

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Once again, the Awhina Centre (Wellington office of the New Zealand
AIDS Foundation) will be organising an annual street collection as part of
World AIDS Day.

Where does the money go?

World AIDS Day 2012 is a joint initiative between the NZAF, Body Positive,
Positive Women and INA.
Every dollar raised through both the street appeal and online collections
goes toward providing essential programmes and services for people living
with or affected by HIV in New Zealand.
Last year the street appeal raised more than $32,000 and this year – with
the addition of our volunteers, and the help of our
generous supporters - we’re hoping to well and truly top that.

Awhina needs you!

For quite a few years now, more money has been collected in Wellington
than any other centre and we would like this trend to continue.
If you are able to help with collecting, could you please let me know what
times you are available, how long you are able to collect for and in what
area you would like to collect.
Could you also advise if you would like to be placed with another collector.

Even if you can spare an hour or two, your help would be appreciated.

Collecting times are 7am – 3pm (The 7am start is for the early birds at the
Railway Station!).

If you are willing to help in any way, please send me your details and I will
be in touch closer to the day.

Pub Run

From 6pm – 9pm, teams of collectors go to the various hotels around Wellington.
In the past, the Pub Run has been a lot of fun.
Perhaps you will not be free to collect during the day so this is an opportunity
to help collect.

The Awhina Team look forward to hearing from you!

Don Barclay
Administration Assistant | Āwhina Centre
New Zealand AIDS Foundation  |  Te Tūāpapa Mate Āraikore o Aotearoa

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